Robert Carter

Artist/blacksmith, Natural Steel
Boise, ID, United States

Someone is shy

Robert hasn't completed a profile. Should we look for some other people?

Comments & conversations

170528
Robert Carter
Posted almost 3 years ago
What IS religion?
I have to disagree that the question is the nature of God, given that you've offered a semantic dodge trying to subsume my concept of the universe under the heading of God. In essence, the way you're defining God is everything that exist. OK, I believe that things exist, therefore I believe in God. This says nothing about whether I believe these things are intrinsically interconnected, form an intelligence or have emotions as a group ("for God so loved the world..."). This is a major problem with Christianity as they like to play games with semantics. Notice that we don't even have a word now that would distinguish the concept everything that exist, from a very specific personality reveled in the Bible that performed specific actions and has specific desires. Perhaps this is where you were going with trying to parse the definition of "deity"? The prerequisite question is how do we know what exists and what it's nature is. The empirical paradigm gives clear criteria, but I'll admit that I am open to other possibilities. What is your criteria for believing revelations of a series of Jewish mystics? Would these arguments apply equally well to a series of Indian mystics?
170528
Robert Carter
Posted almost 3 years ago
What IS religion?
Good question. My answer challenges some of my own former beliefs about Atheism. I'd say that most concisely stated, Religion is a belief in the nature of existence. I would have preferred to use the term "the universe" to include everything that exist but we no longer use it that way (darned physicists). By that definition, Atheism, as we generally think about it, is a religion that hold that nothing exists that we can't observe or rationally conclude based on observation. I'd note that I prefer this definition because it includes Buddhism that has an irrational belief in the soul(and a number of it's attributes) but does not posit a deity. It also excludes a number of philosophies that offer ideas about morality but don't say much about what may or may not exist(Confucianism for example).
170528
Robert Carter
Posted almost 3 years ago
Both of these guys, got into Harvard Law?
Well, I had to do a little searching to fit your criteria of this last year. The President has spent most of his time trying to implement the innovative ideas he initially came to office with. I can see you arguing that targeting small business job creation for tax breaks isn't that innovative(even if you agree it's a good idea). The Veterans job corps- an idea to help credential veterans technical training to allow them to enter the civilian workforce, is a real innovation from this year. It's not paradigm shifting but we've seen what happens to those kind of initiatives. The Affordable Care Act was a big innovation that was politically vulnerable primarily because it was big. Most Americans like the individual parts but don't like "Obamacare". Government generally, and democracies specifically, are better at incremental change. What type of "new weird political" idea are you ready to bet the farm on?
170528
Robert Carter
Posted almost 3 years ago
What would you do for the world with $1 million?
Mary, I love this Idea. I've done some volenteer work at a food bank and one of the problems we constantly noticed was the number of people who didn't know what to do with a bag of dried beans or how to cook a roast. I would include adults in this kind of education.
170528
Robert Carter
Posted almost 3 years ago
What are the arguments for and against philosophy in high school?
Doesn't this already happen? I have only taken one formal "Philosophy" class in my life (college intro level). However, I clearly rember covering logical fallacies in both Debate and Lit. classes in HS. Emperisim was covered in Chemestry, Phisics and Geometry. Cotton Mather, and Manifest Destiny figured prominently in American History and Locke, Hobs and Marx were introduced in a Government class. The only Inclusion I thought was extrodanary about my HS education was the inclusion of Rand in a senior Lit. class. The case could be made that the inclusion of the philosophical elements be made explicit, but I think they are there to be found in the ciriculum... or at least they were 25 years ago.
170528
Robert Carter
Posted about 3 years ago
Michael Hansmeyer: Building unimaginable shapes
While I like the idea that this could lead to advances in Architecture, I don't understand how this talk showed an advance. His columns are interesting ornamental works but the complex structure doesn't apparently add either structural strength or utility to to the column. As sculpture, I suppose there is some artistic content to his process, but it doesn't go much beyond "look I discovered fractals".
170528
Robert Carter
Posted about 3 years ago
JP Rangaswami: Information is food
Excrement is simply that part of food that we can’t digest and use. So, in the analogy it needs to be composted until such time as it becomes useful for the consumer. I’d use the example of steam power. An ancient Greek philosopher produced and consumed the information that steam generated in a cylinder produced force. This information had little nutritional value at the time so went into the informational “soil” of libraries to compost for about 2000 years until refinements of understanding made it useful for humans.